Two illegal cannabis grows busted in Santa Barbara County

Winchester Canyon Road grow


Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 62-year-old man on Monday for illegally cultivating and selling marijuana.

On Sept. 23, deputies raided a property on Winchester Canyon Road in rural Goleta. The deputies seized 900 plants in different stages of growth and 700 pounds of harvested marijuana.

The grow was unlicensed and evidence was discovered indicating the operator was actively engaging in illegal cannabis sales of untested and unlicensed cannabis products.

Black market pot growers often use pesticides that can harm users of their products. A 2013 study in the Journal of Toxicology concluded that high levels of pesticide residue present significant health complications for cannabis smokers.

Deputies arrested the grower, Don Hartley of Goleta, on a charge of illegal cannabis cultivation.

Cebada Canyon Road grow

A week earlier, on Sept. 14, detectives serving a search warrant at a property on the 3500 block of Cebada Canyon Road, near Lompoc, discovered 6,000 cannabis plants ready for harvest, and another 6,000 that had been recently harvested, with the product already moved offsite.

The grower had no license and no oversight to ensure the product was safely grown. Investigators are working with prosecutors to determine if charges will be filed.